Things I do in Japan: episode *@Y^!&R%#&. Centipede-induced insomnia. I have it.

* Fair warning: there is a very gross bug picture at the bottom of this post. DO NOT scroll down past the “——-” if you do not wish to see it. You’ve been warned.

You may remember the Great Centipede War of 2013. Since the exterminators conquered my apartment, I hadn’t seen a creature stir until TONIGHT.

Moments before I was going to shut off the television and go to bed, I saw a looooong dark shadow zoom between my feet and then under the coffee table. Obviously I acted with grace and logic: I immediately jumped on the couch and started shrieking. Not the high-pitched girl-fight shriek that middle school girls do so well … this was a full-bodied “holy fuck there is a mass murderer in my apartment, SOMEBODY COME SAVE ME IMMEDIATELY” scream. As the dark shadow made a mad dash from my coffee table to my television table, I grabbed the nearest magazine and tossed it on top of the shadow. Luckily, this was the first time ever in my life that something that I threw landed where I intended. Sorry, Stella Dot catalogue, you took one for the team.

Once I was sure that it did not crawl out from under the catalogue, I dismounted the couch and peered under the catalogue. BIG MISTAKE. IT MOVED. I SAW LEGS MOVE. Obviously I threw myself on top of my coffee table and then catapulted myself back onto the couch and continued my shrieking.

At some point I realized that I needed to stop shrieking and actually do something. I ran to my kitchen and grabbed gloves, bleach, paper towels, and a Tupperware container. The exterminators on base tell us that it’s better to capture the centipede and show it to the exterminator team then to just kill it … plus there’s this other gross thing that they do after they die … anyway … gagshuddergag.

After the “oh fuck it’s still alive” incident from moments before, I didn’t have any courage left, I started wondering who I could call at 12:30am to come to my house, kill it harder, and dispose of the body. I tried my friend Courtney first, but she was tied up dealing with a flight issue. So, then I tried my friend Amy. It turned out that Amy was nearby with her friend Michelle! 10 minutes later, they were at my house. PHEW.

Amy took care of the situation and removed the centipede from the premises. Michelle took photos of it and posted them on our base Facebook page. Luckily, people saw it and knew exactly what it was, and it turned out that I (okay, AMY) killed the least terrifying of the various kinds of Japanese centipedes. I’ms till terrified that there could be more lurking in my house, but at least I know that if they bite me in my sleep, I won’t die. No seriously, people die from centipede bites here. DIE. UGH.

Recap: Amy shall henceforth be known as “Killer”. I am never sleeping again. Thank GOD Almighty that I am going back to the States next week and I will escape this centipede infested island for 2 weeks.

But really … Japan is a lovely place to live.

If you do not wish to see the dead bug, DO NOT SCROLL DOWN.

No seriously, stop scrolling if you don’t want to see this awful beast.

Okay, I guess you actually want to see it.






I present to you the least vicious of all the Japanese centipede varieties. This little ditty is known as an “Eyelash Bug” by the Americans who live here.

To give you appropriate scale, this lovely creature is about the length of my middle finger.

You would not believe how fast these little guys can run. >
You would not believe how fast these little guys run. Shudder.


  1. EEEk, I would have screamed too! I have always wanted to live in Japan, but after seeing that I think I am good. I hate bugs, I freak out if there is a tiny spider in my apartment.

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